The WHO's regional director for the western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, says the geographic distribution of the new Omicron variant is “likely already wider than currently reported”.
But Dr Kasai adds that lessons have been learned from the spread and handing of the Delta variant.
Dr Babatunde Olowokure, WHO regional emergency director, says that blanket travel bans can only delay the entry of the variant into countries.
He says the WHO is working with a “large number” of research institutions to study Omicron, but to date, they have received no information to suggest a need to change the approach to the pandemic adopted by countries so far.
The WHO says that mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, crowd avoidance, contact tracing and case isolation, and vaccination all remain important.
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